The Interview Process During Periods of High Unemployment
Without a doubt, the interview process tends to generate more anxiety among interviewees than those who are seated on the other side of the table. But the process can involve high stakes on the interviewer’s side a well, and the task of finding the right match and avoiding the wrong one can have long term financial repercussions both for the company and for the HR manager’s career. This can be especially true during a challenging economic climate.
First, don’t swagger. The line of potential candidates will naturally grow during times of high unemployment. But try not to factor this into your decision making process. Keep a cool head, be courteous and respectful to every candidate, and stay in tune with mathematical reality. On a standard bell curve, average remains average, no matter how broad the pool of candidates. A pool of three may divided into thirds as poor, marginal or excellent. In a pool of three hundred, the divisions remain the same. The only thing that changes is the task of interviewing three hundred candidates instead of three. Don’t adjust your expectations and slog through three hundred interviews in search of an impossible gold standard. This will waste time and increase frustration for the candidates and for you. Remain cool and collected, be respectful, and complete the search as expediently as possible using the same standards you would use during any other business cycle.
But as always, you’ll need to look past your initial impressions. Especially when facing a large applicant pool, it can become difficult to stay focused on the requirements listed by your hiring managers. As HR managers know, nice attire and firm handshakes do not always equate to an excellent match between candidates and the tasks that will be asked of them by the position at hand.